Cheryl: Everybody thought I was nuts. “What? Where are you going?” I was trying to go to Fatima. I wanted somebody to go with me and nobody could go. While I was googling stuff, I came across something about Medjugorje. Then I decided I didn’t need anybody to go with me. “I can do this by myself.”
Coming during Youthfest last year. I mean, to see the flags waving and all these people. To see the confession lines. I just wish I could get my own kids to come.
[The heat] scared me, but I’m here. It scared me last year and it scared me this year, but actually I wasn’t bothered by the heat as much as I thought. We did all our hiking in the middle of the night. I didn’t think about the heat, really.
I had a whirlwind of a trip getting here. I had lost my luggage for most of the time, my flights were delayed, I was all over the world before I got here. I arrived in Medjugorje at like 2 in the morning with a gentleman who drove me across [the border]. I was locked out of my room.
I was scared out of my brains by myself until the next morning when I woke up and I met my fellow pilgrims. They’re like my sisters and brothers now. I love them. We just had a reunion last weekend. And they’re very jealous that I’m going back.
I ran into this crazy lady [Ellen] and she was thinking about coming…
Ellen: I felt an internal call after I read My Heart Will Triumph[autobiography by Mirjana Soldo]. I’ve known about Medjugorje since the early 90s. I’ve followed the messages.
So when I met Cheryl, my new friend since April 13th…and then we started chatting, there were things in common, then she said, “Would you like to go on a pilgrimage to Poland with me?”
I said, “Oh, you don’t want me to go on a pilgrimage to Poland with you.” Because my knees are in a lot of pain; it’s difficult for me to walk. I hate to fly, and I don’t have a passport.
… She pulls out an advertisement from the Catholic newspaper advertising the trip to Poland. So during Holy Week I had an internal thing like, “Maybe I’m supposed to go to this.”
So then I got the passport. We got together on Divine Mercy Sunday. I was like, “Oh s***! What did I do? I’ve never done anything like this in my life. I don’t know who this person is.”
So when we were at Divine Mercy Sunday, they alerted us that [the pilgrimage] might not run because of a lack of subscription. So we talked about what we might do, and I said, “Would you like to go back to Medjugorje?” And she said, “Oh yeah, I would go in a heartbeat.”